This feature will highlight good/enjoyable films that may have gone unnoticed to the mainstream public. Once again, I ask that those reading this post feel free to comment leaving suggestion and concepts for further installments.
Why is it important?
Donnie Darko is not really important, but instead it is an intriguing work of cinematic art. Director Richard Kelly creates character with vibrant and unique personality traits which audiences can identify with throughout the film’s bizarre series of events. We are emersed into a world that seems like our own, but is just a bit more complex. The film also boasts some of the most memorable one-liners and a plethora of hilarious concepts. Donnie Darko is a film that really does offer something for everyone from humor to science fiction to action.
What is it about?
The movie follows Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal)’s strange visions and his relationship with Frank the rabbit. I know that at first glance the plot sounds like something straight out of a horror B-movie from the 1950s, but all the other elements (stellar cast, witty script, etc.) aid in helping make the transition into the world of a disturbed teen. He has 28 days until “the world ends” and he must unravel several abstract clues to find a way to keep Frank’s prophecy from coming true. It is a hard sell but with overwhelming positive reviews there is no way you leave unhappy, maybe a bit confused. But it will all be worth after this satisfying ride through a mind so perplexing you’ll be glad its not yours.
Who is in it?
The cast includes Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle and Drew Barrymore. The ensemble all put forth wonderfully rich performances, working to give their characters an identifiable life of their own. The main draw here is a young, pre-Brokeback Mountain Gyllenhaal who is spectacular going from innocent to demented in a matter of moments. His performances make Donnie more than just a typical, troubled teen and brings much needed believability to the title role.
Donnie Darko is hard to lump into one category because of its broad range of topics but one thing is certain, this is one hell of a movie. Though not all the questions are answered, the journey from point a to point b is enjoyable enough that you don’t care if those pesky questions are ever answered.
Here are two short scenes from Donnie Darko: